With Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year and Shrove Tuesday occurring in February, there are lots of opportunities for people to bake, cook and create during the month.
However Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service (RBFRS) are warning budding chefs and bakers to take extra care in the kitchen when showing off their culinary skills.
Nicola Smith, Prevention Manager at RBFRS, said: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen – often because of distractions like phone calls or family. So, whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.”
To help stay safe in the kitchen this month, follow Nicola’s top tips:
- Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking and take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk
- If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – get out, stay out, and call 999
- Double check the hob and oven is off when you’ve finished cooking
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
- Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking and keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe
- Take care with electrics – keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls
- Keep your equipment clean and in good working order – a build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire
- Don’t cook after drinking alcohol
- Hot oil can catch fire easily – be careful that it doesn’t overheat
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire
- Make sure you have a working heat alarm in your kitchen and test it weekly
In the event of a fire, make sure you have an escape plan in place. For further tips on cooking safety, visit the RBFRS website or download our free kitchen safety eBook.